Two weeks of training camp are in the books, it's time to play a game. The Packers open Pre-Season play Thursday night at Qualcomm Stadium against the San Diego Chargers. Tuesday's workout was helmets and shorts only after Monday night's padded practice was cut short, all because of mounting injuries. Mike McCarthy scratched three more names off the list Tuesday, Marshall Newhouse with a concussion, Brandon Saine with a groin and Sam Shields with a sore elbow. That brings to 17, the number of players who will not dress for the game. None of the injuries are serious although tight end Eric Lair is still using a cane to get around with an injured knee and guard Mike McCabe had a nasty hip injury early in camp. Other front liners who will take a pass include Greg Jennings and Ryan Taylor (concussions).
Before boarding the plane on Wednesday, the coaching staff will meet and determine playing time for the starters, snap numbers for the rest. Aaron Rodgers is expected to take a series or two, only if the first is a three and out. Graham Harrell needs to take as many game snaps as possible for the rest of the month and draft choice B.J. Coleman will finish it up. The evaluators, from the assistant coaches to General Manager Ted Thompson will want to see how the young players compete against a different NFL opponent. Offensive coordinator Tom Clements told me Tuesday he wants to see the unit play with tempo, in and out of the huddle, operating with different personel groups and no pre-snap flags.
New starters from the team that went 15-1 last season included Herb Taylor for Newhouse at left tackle, Jeff Saturday for Scott Wells at center. On defense, Davon House will likely open at corner opposite Tramon Williams with Charles Woodson now at safety. Nick Perry will open at leftoutside linebacker. On the link below, some quotes from the squad in advance of the Chargers game.